I’m a horrible grinder. I know that is the cause of my plaguing TMJ problems. Facial pain, stiff jaw, and ringing in my ears are all symptoms I have or had before. I went through treatment including splint therapy to remedy these issues. However, lately I’ve been experiencing numbness or pins and needles feeling in a few fingers on my left hand. I read that can be an effect of TMJ disorder, though I don’t understand the connection. Given what I’m experiencing no TMJ pain, how am I having these odd sensations in my fingers?
Dana C. – Sande, UT
Yes, the numbness and tingling in your fingers can definitely be connected to TMJ disorder. About half of TMJ patients report this as a symptom. Simply put, when your bite is not aligned correctly (as in the case of a TMJ patient), it can cause muscle spasms. Since your muscles are all connected, a misaligned jaw can possibly cause problems down through all your extremities. The muscle spasms that you feel in your face, shoulders, or neck which are caused by TMJ, can pinch nerves which goes down your arms. These pinched nerves that can come periodically and can vary in intensity is what causes sensations of numbness or tingling. These symptoms can occur with or without any added TMJ pain. If you experience these symptoms, or any other new TMJ problems, report back to your doctor for further evaluation.
This blog is brought to you by Seattle TMJ Dentist Dr. Brian McKay.